How many Calories you should eat in a day? The best methods to count calorie
Chances are that when you met someone for the first time since the Covid lockdown, they told you “You seem to have gained some weight”. It might be true for them too but it is safe to say that almost all of us have heard some comment on your weight at some point in life. Body weight is a sensitive issue for many of us and today we are discussing “Calories,” a body component that plays a crucial role in how much one weighs. We will be talking about how many calories you should eat in a day for ideal body weight and the best methods to count calories.
What is calorie and how does it impact the body?
How do you measure how much sugar to put in your coffee? The ideal way is to use a standard teaspoon. Similarly, calorie, in terms of food and beverages, is a measurement point. The only difference is it is used to calculate how much energy the food one consumes will produce. For instance, a 2.3-gram sugar cube has a calorie count of 8.9. It means that once the sugar enters your body and it starts getting digested or breaking down, it will release 8.9 calories which is a representation of the amount of energy released.
Although, with time, food calories have received incorrect representation, they are extremely crucial for the body to function. Every person, depending on factors such as age, sex, and other components, has specific calorie requirements. This is the amount of energy a body needs to function properly. Keep in mind that the energy generated in your body is needed for more than the physical activity you do like walking or working. The internal organs of your body require calories to function or to put it more strongly, sufficient calories are needed for a body’s survival.
So why are people scared of food calories and why should you be aware of how many calories you should eat in a day?
Well as Thanos said in Avengers ‘Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be,’ too little or too much of anything is never good. This rule applies to calories as well. Your body needs a specific amount of calories. Anything more or less is known to cause health issues and hence you should be aware of the right quantity of calories to consume in a day.
Honestly speaking, consuming the exact required dose of calories every day is easier said than done but it is better to be aware of what works for our body and what doesn’t.
For example, excessive intake of calories can cause conditions such as
- Type II diabetes
- Cardiovascular diseases
These conditions can trigger other medical issues as well.
On the other hand, consuming less than the required amount of calories can cause
- Slow heart date
- Abnormally low blood pressure
- Fatigue and tiredness
This is exactly why knowing how many calories you should eat in a day can be beneficial for your health. Before we get to that, there is something we would like to discuss first.
Every person has specific calorie requirements. Several factors influence calorie intake requirements. There is no denying that at most times, the official calorie count you will see on several sites is around 2,200 kcal per day for women and 2,700 kcal per day for men. However, the calorie demand for every person is different as it depends on several factors.
The most common variables that influence the number include:
- Body shape
- Do you have an active or sedentary lifestyle
- General physical and mental health
- Current weight
Let’s break down each component individually to understand better your calorie requirement in a day:
- If you are between the ages of 26 to 50 years with a moderately active lifestyle, your ideal calorie consumption per day should be close to 2,000 calories
- If you have an active lifestyle that includes high-intensity workouts or a 5 km walk per day, the ideal count is around 2200 calories
We have created a list of calorie requirements depending on age, that you can refer to.
With the same parameters that are between the ages of 26 to 45 years with a moderately active lifestyle, the number of calories you should eat in a day should be around 2600 calories
Extended data in tabular form is as follows:
A key point to remember:
The values mentioned above are an ideal case scenario. It means that if you have special requirements, maybe due to certain existing or past medical concerns, if you are pregnant, or during your postpartum journey, we highly recommend consulting with your doctor about your ideal calorie requirements per day because they can provide more accurate insights.
How does controlling calorie intake contribute to a better lifestyle?
In this segment, we want to explain in simple terms how changing calorie intake habits can impact your health. Please note that while we are talking about weight gain or weight loss influenced by calories, only calorie quantity per day doesn’t need to be responsible for weight issues. Several factors come into play that determine your body weight. One of which is the amount of calories consumed per day.
As a general rule, here is a summary of the relationship between calorie count and body weight
- To lose weight, you will have to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories a day. This can help you lose one pound in a week
- For gaining weight: Talk to an expert dietician and doctors to determine your body’s calorie requirements
With this, we would also like to add that depending only on calorie intake or calorie burning may not be sufficient. Body weight and living a healthy lifestyle have become more complicated than before because there are too many factors involved.
You may find various online calorie calculators that will help you determine how many calories you should eat in a day, but we recommend talking to a professional dietician because they can guide you with a diet that best suits your body’s needs.
Several researchers conclude that the ideal calorie intake per day for men and women with a certain amount of physical activity should range between 2000 to 2000 calories and although these are universally accepted numbers, it is always best to take inputs from professionals who know exactly what your body needs for proper functioning.